A millennium of websites come to the light on a daily basis and most of them are considered to be a complete waste of time from a user point of view and waste of owner's money. These sites are dreadful because of many mistakes that were missed or forgotten by the testers. Such little inaccuracies and imperfections can seriously affect trustworthiness and ROI. I suggest that this article will be useful for web developers, designers, and website owners that should keep in mind the following checklist of points that should be inspected before launching the website. By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure a high-quality website and a smooth launch of it.
1. Typos and Errors Free
It's significant to proofread every single page before introducing the website to your audience. It's pretty common when minor mistakes become a source of visitor's irritation or reduce the credibility and trust level of the entire website. In case, when you offer visitors to purchase some services, errors free policy is more than critical because it can protect you from losing customers.
2. Fill All The Information
Next thing you should check before release is pages information. Avoid publishing if you are missing essential data such as About, Technology, Expertise, FAQ, etc. Never put any 'coming soon' signs at the page or, in any case, don't leave the page blank. Just move the launch date if you don't have the main information ready or, if there are some minor gaps, do not publish the page at all until it will be full of content.
Moreover, there is one more important section I would like to pay attention to - Contact. Make sure you include all possible ways to reach you, like phone numbers (include at least one main and one alternative to make sure visitors can find you), email address (it's better to create a separate email box for contact letters), offices/company location (integrate your website with Google Maps and specify the exact position), mailing address and other available contact information (for example manager name). Without that data, visitors will leave your website without reaching a target and will never come back. According to recent studies, TOP 5 of the most visited pages (without taking into account what page is a landing one) is the following (in decreasing order):
In addition, let us give you a little tip about telephone numbers. For example, if you work worldwide, write a number in international format. Besides, you can create an account on popular VOIP services (for instance, Skype, Viber) and include it in the contact information. Moreover, you can go even further and leave an information regarding corporate accounts in IM like Viber, WhatsApp, Yahoo Messenger, WeChat, and others.
3. Meta Tags And Description
Meta description is a part of effective SEO promotion and is the very first thing people see when they are looking for your website. Because it's exactly how your page looks in SERP (Search Engine Resulting Page). Meta Tags also have a great impact on SEO strategy and are responsible for the structuring of metadata. If your description don't catch people's attention, they won't visit it. That's why you should optimize the metadata.
Honestly, I think it should be checked beforehand and the launch of the website that doesn't have a proper security system is absolutely pointless. There are hundred of websites published on a daily basis and, at least, thousands of existing websites are hacked daily. Your website, even if it's one day old, may be among 'lucky winners'. So do not neglect safety because your personal or financial data can be stolen. Hire an expert who can examine the source code for possible weak points and strengthen them. Moreover, consult with this person about potential security issues and measures to be taken in case of the hacker attack. In addition, conduct a personal research and find a good program that can take care about necessary plugins updates and block deleterious content (for instance, WordFence Security for WordPress-based websites).
In addition, use SSL certificates if you gather personal or financial information from your visitors. Despite the fact that regular users do not really know what SSL means, the website with https is considered to be much more secure than the ones without it.
5. Backups & Copies
First, let us warn you about one thing - do not rely on the host provider to make a backup of your site unless you give up all your salary for their service. The best way to keep actual backups is to set automatic backup system that will work independently and isn't connected to a host that you use. Set the backup frequency depending on your needs and integrate it with a convenient cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
One of the must-have points to check before releasing a website is cross-platform capability. You or your testers will have to examine website behavior across all targeted platforms and ensure the same performance across all devices regardless the size of the screen, software version, brand, etc. Nowadays, a lot of services provide you with a free overview of the way your site looks on popular devices.
7. Social Links & CRM systems
Today, in our digital environment it's impossible to imagine a company without profiles in social networks. You are not an exception, are you? All right, then place links on the social media accounts or your corporate blog to gain more visitors and reputation.
Moreover, if you sell services or products, your website is a goldmine to capture leads. An integration with CRM services allows you to gather the information about people who were interested in something on your site but didn't manage to purchase it.
8. 404 Page Design
Unfortunately, it's inevitable that once you launch your website, people, from time to time, will hit non-existent pages, or pages where they need a special access. For that purposes create a beautiful 404 page that will inform visitors thеу are in a wrong place. And don't forget to place a couple of links there that will continue the conversation with a user and offer him a few pages to visit, for example, Main page or Service tab.
9. Website Optimization
Well, you won't go far without marketing promotion. Of course, content is important, but to create a profitable website you have to know the best approaches how to use the content. This is where marketing comes to light. Hire a qualified expert and keep in mind that content optimization strategy is long-lasting and sometimes you can observe results after a couple of months.
Moreover, your website should comply with HTML and CSS standards because, without it, your content optimization strategy is pointless. It's significant since search engine crawlers use these markup and style language to read your website and assign fittable rankings. If your website fails on these validations, search engine, and Google, in particular, will throw your site far away from TOP 10.
Well, how can you evaluate an efficiency of your website without having any idea how popular it is and how many people visit it every hour/day/month? We've seen many websites that had been launched without analytics connected to it. But in today's world, this is totally worthless, you'll just spend a lot of time and money on your website and nobody will like it. That's why, please, make sure you integrate your website with at least Google Analytics.
The checklist of points above will help you to avoid pitfalls that you can come across while launching a website. However, I can assure you that you will definitely find some flaws in your site even after careful checking and will improve and renovate it. Unfortunately, it's normal for development world. If you feel not really confident about launching an effective website you can entrust this to qualified experts who will be happy to implement your wildest dreams in reality and become your solid partner in a world of web development services.